With outdoor entertaining season upon us, it’s time to start planning your next soirée. This year, try something new and wow your guests with European flair. Debbie Travis, Canada’s lifestyle expert who recently launched a partnership with Sears Canada, and now shares tips on how to throw a trendy Tuscan inspired alfresco dinner party.
Bring Tuscan design to your backyard: European design, whether in architecture, home or fashion, has always influenced North American trends. “After spending much of the last few years in Italy, I want to bring both the clean lines of modern Italian design and the richness of ancient architecture to outdoor living spaces in Canada. One of the easiest ways to do this is to mix modern colour schemes,” says Travis. “Anchor pops of colour with grey – the new neutral.”
Tuscany is known for its cuisine, and locals spend much of their time gathered around the table with family and friends. To recreate the feeling, Travis recommends a comfortable, functional outdoor dining set. Select something that’s practical and designed to withstand years of enjoyment, such as her Rosseau set, which has cushions made from Sunbrella fabric and quick dry foam and is available exclusively at Sears.
Taste Italy: Engage your senses with the tastes of Tuscany. Start with a crisp, light-bodied Italian wine, such as a Pinot Grigio. Antipasto platters are the way to go for food. “Giving your guests the option to choose ensures that they’re always satisfied and gives you the opportunity to have fun with presentation,” explains Travis. “Thin slices of pecorino cheese, salamis, prosciutto and different garnishes like olives and capers are my go to options. Make it modern and serve it on a long wooden board.”
Be the host with the most: For a successful dinner party, prepare as much as you can beforehand and keep it simple – easy dishes are often the best way to impress. Using a diverse mix of objects to dress the table is also a great way to showcase your theme. “Create a story around the table setting. Use pieces that are Tuscan inspired, like my crackle-finished plates and colourful serving dishes.” Lastly, remember to relax and have fun. If you’re having a good time, so will your guests.”
More information and tips are available at www.sears.ca.